Friday, July 9, 2010

Evening July 9, 2010

How amazing....I can't think of anything more incredible right now...I imagine what it must be like as I read these stories and I sip my glass of Petit Reserve to them! -Suzan


What an adventure we are on. Sailing across an ocean.

As we first started, the count down to Hawaii was at 2070. As we got closer the count down looked like a year, and we were playing trivial about what happened during that year. We went through political events, and then as we got younger, we went through our school years. And then birth years. The last personal date for me was 1914, my grandmother's birth year. We are currently at 1806 miles to go. Jens says that was the end of the Holy Roman Empire. 30 miles and we can celebrate independence day again!

We had an issue with the charging system. For the trip I got a fancy battery. So I thought to get a higher output alternator to charge the battery faster. It was making a funny smell before we left, and I called support for the alternator. They said, "You can't charge that battery with no resistance." But then didn't give any recommendations on what to use. So we tried charging, but it was hardly putting out any amps. Underway I changed back to the stock alternator and we got a good charge with 2.5 hours engine time. The battery holds 200 amp hours, and we are using about 66 amp hours per day.

Sea life has been fun. We saw whales and dolphins. When I was driving in really light air, struggling to keep the boat moving, I could feel the dolphins slowing the boat down as they would jump our bow wave. It is really fun to yell dolphin, or whale, and watch Dirk run up on deck to see the visitors. Unfortunately, since we passed the continental shelf, there has not been much sea life. Sometimes at night I was seeing large balls of light in the water. Maybe they were phosphorescent jelly fish.

Today for dinner, we had Sue's stew. We didn't take it out of the cooler till 11 AM, and by 5 PM, it was apparent it would not be thawed by dinner time. Fortunately Jeff was able to figure something out, and i got hot stew after my watch. I think Sue should post the recipe, so all our fans can share our experience. THere are recommendations from the crew for the fans to tilt all furniture to port 10 to 15 degrees. And Jeff says not to forget to tilt the stove as well. After all that effort, it will be the best stew ever.

Half way through the day, we evaluated the sail plan, and decided to reef the main sail, and leave the genoa up. Fortunately we gained half a knot of boat speed to 7. At the end of my watch driving, I was feeling overpowered as the apparent wind was getting to 15. So we took down the genoa and put up a 110% jib. Guess what? We gained another half knot and are now doing 8+ knots. We are waiting for the wind to shift to 90 apparent to put up a jibtop sail, and a staysail. Probably in the morning. There are reports of some of the earlier boats have started flying spinnakers.

Oh, yeah, what is the blog address? I am sure my Dad would like to see what is there."

[From Jens, I believe] "Little note from the navigation desk. I downloaded new weather gribs this afternoon. Connected with the sailmail server in Palo Alto. Made me think all my friends there. The new forecast is consistent with yesterday's version. Winds of 10-15kts out of NW. They will veer right in the next 12-24 hours to N or even a little Easterly. That is the wind we need to put up the kite and keep building boat speed. Temperatures are slowly increasing and air pressure is now up to 1016mb from 1012mb at the start. Closing in on the Pacific High!

Greetings from the crew, Nathan is driving, boat is steady, waves are smooth with occasional bucket full of water over deck."

Bob, Jens

[Please comment, if you like, as later the crew might enjoy your observations!-sj]

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